Local Attractions

Port Waikato is a small settlement situated on the West Coast where the biggest river in New Zealand ends it's journey..

Vast sand dunes stretch from the river mouth right along Sunset Beach, which is great for swimming and surfing. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer so make sure you stay safe and swim between the flags.

A beautiful spot, only one hour's drive from Auckland City!

Nikau Glowworm Cave

Just a short 20-30 minute drive from the Port Waikato Holiday Park, and past the Lord of the Rings film location for 'Weathertop Hollow', is the beautiful and exhilarating Nikau Cave.

Nestled among sheep and cattle farming country, hides this exquisite limestone cave. One kilometre long, and with a stream running through it, the Nikau Cave remains entirely in its natural state. With a wide variety of stalactites and stalagmites, glow worms, and even a crawl-through, Nikau Cave is a true subterranean caving adventure.

There is also a cafe on-site to revive you after your adventure. This can be booked for functions, weddings and small conferences

Visit the Nikau Cave website for more details and bookings.

Close Encounters

Tickle a pig, stroke an emu, feed an alpaca, pat a pony, ride a donkey and go on a trailer ride through a herd of milking cows and visit a traditional kiwi milking shed.

Less than 15 minutes from the Port.

Visits by appointment only.

Contact Rita and David www.farmencounters.co.nz

Pokeno Market

This is a country market held every Sunday from 8am till whenever in a large paddock on the main street of Pokeno Village. Heaps of crafts, food, produce and entertainment. A great morning out to get some good bargains. Half an hour from Port Waikato.

Cobourne Garden Reserve

Cobourne Garden Reserve is a beautiful array of tenderly landscaped garden terraces leading from the road side, down to the waters edge. Established and cared for by some of Port Waikato’s enthusiastic locals, garden lovers will enjoy a most pleasant walk through this botanical delight.

Alternatively, pack your hamper and a blanket to enjoy the perfect picturesque picnic spot.

Cobourne Garden is located at the top of the rise, just after the Wharf Store when heading towards the beach.

Sunset Takeaways

Carol will serve you the most delicious Burgers and Fish N Chips at her food caravan, Sunset Takeaways, right at the camp's entrance every week end and some week nights (hours vary according to season).

Local Artist Galleries

Port Waikato has resident artists making their own beautiful creations of both jewellery and sculpture from the idyllic convenience of their home studios.

Their galleries are easy to find and open to the public, so ask us for directions if you would like to pay them a visit.

Scenic Route to Raglan

If you are heading south on the next leg of your journey, then why not take the scenic route back via Raglan. Explore the peaceful countryside and experience the stunning views while encountering amazing limestone formations along the way.

Along the way you will pass Limestone Downs - the Lord of the Rings film location for 'Weathertop Hollow'.

Well worth a visit, just back from the road at about the halfway mark, is the entrance to the beautiful Nikau Glowworm Caves.

Once in Raglan, the Raglan Holiday Park is ideally positioned as to make the most of the Raglan area. The camp ground is situated on an inlet peninsula, almost entirely surrounded by water. It is a virtual island resort with its own beach, boat ramp and a walk bridge connecting it to the Raglan Township.

Local Activities

Safe Swimming

The safe place to swim is down the south end of Port Waikato at Sunset Beach, where the Surf Life Saving Club patrols the beach. The club has guards on duty each weekend from Labour Weekend through to Easter, and right throughout the week during school summer holidays.

The rugged West Coast is known for its pounding surf with treacherous rips and strong undertows. Take care when playing in the water, and whenever possible, swim between the flags in front of the Surf Life Club.

For a tamer swimming experience, the beaches of the river mouth at the north end of town are an ideal paddling area for your littlies. It's a great place to chase the crabs or dig for pipis (shell fish) - all essential parts of a true kiwiana beach holiday experience.


Surf cast from the beach for Kahawai, and run out a long line from the river mouth for Trevally.

Port Waikato is also the perfect place to cruise around, or relax on your boat.

Don your gumboots and grab a spear to catch a flounder at the river mouth estuary flats.

When in season, there is fine whitebaiting along the river banks - a kiwiana delicacy.



The west coast is famous for its mean surf breaks, and Port Waikato is no exception. The Left hander off the point at Sunset Beach is a popular surf spot for locals and holidaymakers alike. Check tides, swell and weather conditions for the best waves.


Port Waikato is perfect for both diving and fishing.

The estuary of the river mouth is also an ideal spot for a splash and fish in your dingy, paddle in your canoe, or for catching the breeze in your sail boat.

There is a boat ramp at the Yacht Club beside the Wharf Store or beach access at Sunset Beach.

Boat parking could be arranged during your stay here. Please check with management first.


Enjoy exploring the Port Waikato water ways in your canoe/kayak or if you like a faster pace bring your jet ski.

If the surf break at sunset beach looks a bit intimidating, then head for the calm waters of the river mouth for loads of safe family fun.

Pack Your Tennis Racquets!

Just a couple of minutes down the road toward the sand dunes is a community recreation area featuring two tennis courts, a playground with a flying fox and even a wee library.

So the kids can play and the lazy can read while you bash green balls at your tennis partner on the bitumen.

Scavenge for Fossils

Port Waikato is a fossil fossickers heaven with many fossils to be found around the Ports cliffs and coastal rocks.

So grab your safari hat and your paleontology chisels (a baseball cap and a blunt tent peg should do the trick too) and discover some Jurassic history.

Walks along sand dunes

Port Waikato has acres of sand dunes just waiting for you to explore.

These expansive dunes are just one great big beautiful Port Waikato playground.

So grab your sand shoes, head for the hills and tumble and romp your way through the wind swept grassy knolls to the wild ocean beyond.

The sand dunes entrance is an easy five minute stroll from the camp ground.

Annual Events

Port Waikato Fishing Club

Kids Fishing Competition - 2nd January
Kahawai Classic - Easter Sunday
Port Waikato Fishing Club is run by a group of volunteers that provide local fishing Events/Competitions located at Sun Set Beach Port Waikato.
We have around 100 valued members that range from local families to extended surrounding areas.
All a very friendly bunch - that have a passion for fishing,
We thrive on bringing the local and extended communities together for Annual Fishing Events every year!
This includes KIDS FISHING competitions, MEMBERS & FRIENDS Competitions
We are always delighted to be able to provide funds from our Fish Auctions each year, we donate to societies including St Johns, West Pac Rescue, & Surf Life Saving.
Art at the port

Art @ the Port is part of the Port Waikato community. A growing group of enthusiastic people with diverse art interests who have been meeting since February 2008. It was formed so that locals could gather together to share their interest and passion in all fields of art. Regular get-togethers provide opportunities for inspiration and encouragement, for workshops and demonstrations in a variety of medium. With a shared meal before-hand, it’s a fun evening, and you certainly don’t have to be a practicing artist to be part of it. As one member said, "I’m no artist, but it’s fun trying, and I am good at buying it!" On the other hand the group also has members who have won national and local awards. Art @ the Port and its members continue to provide ongoing support and encouragement to local artists wanting to ‘make their mark’ on the world.

The group’s exhibitions are held at the historic riverside "Brasell’s Woolshed". It was the original shearing shed for the farm, and still has the old wool press, the slatted catching pens and the rusting grinder; all which provide a quirky environment to display artists’ works. Art @ the Port members have spent many hours repairing and restoring this woolshed (while still maintaining its very rustic charm), not only to improve the display space but also as a big thank-you to the Brasell family for generously making it and the surrounding paddocks available.
From small beginnings Art @ the Port is now making a name for itself. The passion and talent of this group of artists is a source of pride for the Port Waikato community
Port Waikato Challenge


Port Waikato CHALLENGE is a Walk or Run @ 8km or 16km over & through beautiful Port Waikato annually.
Start/ Finish at Maraetia Bay. Sand Dunes, Beach, River, Tidal Bay, Beachside Reserve, a great work out & fun family, sports, team or business event.
Showcasing the Wild & wonderful West Coast only an hour form Ak central.
Funds raised help support our Port Waikato Volunteer Fire Brigade.
Event is every year around mid November - Registrations 8.30 - 9.45am
Email portwaikatochallenge@gmail.com for more info and registration information


Contact Us

Port Waikato Holiday Park:

115B Maunsell Road
Port Waikato RD5
Tuakau  2695
New Zealand

Phone:  +64 9 232 9857
Freephone: 0800 276 259

Email: info@portwaikatoholidaypark.co.nz